Lying is nothing new for our military or government in general.  It used to be that, in wartime, we lied to our enemies to keep them "off guard" and lied to our own to own to keep them fighting even when confronted with "lies" from an enemy, possibily as dishonest as ourselves.  We have now gone way past that, so far past that, when confronted with a problem like military suicide, we can’t fix that problem or dozens of others because we have become a nation in love with lies.

We blame PTSD for our problem with military suicide but have never bothered to tell the public if those that kill themselves are combat troops or support personnel.  We refuse to count veterans, recently released or Vietnam and Desert Storm survivors who kill themselves though we have good reason to suspect the numbers are unimaginably high.

The military and, to a much lesser extent, Veterans Affairs, is spending millions in a frantic effort to limit the embarassment of this tragedy.  Soldiers are asked to report on each other, all efforts leading to more and more joining the ranks of the Zoloft and Trazadone ‘zombies’ that have come to typify American society.

Is it possible we are medicating the wrong people? 



We sit here in 2009 with over 100,000 troops in Iraq and a war raging in Afghanistan, yet nobody can tell us how 20 terrorists got us there.  How does a society wake up one morning and find that 5000 of their own have been killed in what has turned out to be a criminal aggression started by real war criminals.  Strong words?  Take a look at the Blackwater/Eric Prince murder investigation story.  

GOP "golden boy," Prince is alleged to have led his massive private army into crimes against humanity and even murder of Americans.  Prince "views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe," and that Prince’s companies "encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life."  Prince is hardly an anomaly but represent views held by most of our military leaders, especially those on the "country club" and "DC coctail circuit."

Prince, nominated to the Naval Academy in Annapolis by fellow staff writer Congressman Mark Siljander, was only reflecting views propagated by the government he is accused of bilking billions of dollars from.  When Mark and I discussed this yesterday, he commented, "Perhaps I should not have appointed Eric to the academy in the 1980’s.  Ug…more mistakes."

How are troops supposed to feel about themselves when continually confronted with revelations of dishonor and criminal acts when, for years, they were endlessly honored and cheered on?  Did we think they would take the stains put on their service and sacrifice as Mark has? 

When Mark stood up against Bush and Cheney, though a long time Washington insider, half a dozen federal agencies broke dozens of laws to shut him up.  Are our troops supposed to give up their "volunteer Army" jobs, starve their families and sacrifice themselves?  Many have and only a few Americans have stood with them. 

How many of our troops have found "death before dishonor" more than just a motto?   


Cowards across America privately hold our troops up to ridicule for having been duped into believing the Bush "War on Terror."  These are the same people that quaked in their boots at the thought of Saddam’s imaginary WMDs and were more than happy to borrow trillions for weapons to send other people to fight for them.

Now that the wounded and broken are returning, those same "sunshine patriots" look on our troops as "klunkers."  It took us 8 years and a regime change to pass an honest GI Bill, giving hope to some of being able to join the lines of the unemployed with a much better education. 

The endless scandals at Veterans Affairs is a classic case.  A public sick of nearly a decade of war news that went from headlines of glorious victories to endless reports of economic defeats has no time when it comes to hearing about year long claim delays or veterans being threatened with prison.

The moment I hear Glenn Beck hold back his tears for the poor insurance companies and begin asking questions about war criminals, election rigging or one of the dozens of "hot potato" issues he is ordered to stay away from or "spin" I will know that America has begun to recogize that lies kill.


When the British people learned that their disabled veterans were being followed and filmed by private investigators, every newspaper, every politician and key military leaders screamed bloody murder.

When attempts were made to cut the benefits of 2 war vets, every newspaper in the country carried the story on front page headlines for a week.  Even the government controlled BBC ran reports on every station, radio and TV, all day, every day.  Why is our privately owned media seemingly under more government control than their public system?

In America, stories of vets jailed for whistleblowing or dying of neglect and mistreatment never make the news.  Of course, Britain didn’t return her war dead in secret as we did.


"Back when" is a phrase many of us turn to.  Troops that fought in Vietnam barely made what our current troops spend on fast food, perhaps less.  No, this is not conjecture.  There was no hope of staying in the military for most.  Civilian jobs paid many times more and were plentiful. 

Today, 40 year olds with families are trying to join the military just to have a roof over their heads.  Housing and pay in the military is, not only competitive with civilian options, but often the only option for many.  View this as a two edged sword.  With the power to give more, good food, good housing and good pay, comes the power to control, not just through compliance or continual propaganizing but through endless deployments even for the wounded and unfit. 

"Live in mom’s basement, live by mom’s rules."  What is life like when there is never any hope of getting out of mom’s basement?


In the Middle Ages, "feudalism" ruled.  Kings, princes, dukes and barons all went to war, fought hand to hand and died in combat.

The highly stained and shameful military record of our last president is a "national secret" kept secure for a century by executive order.  90% of our highest ranking military leaders have never discharged a weapon in anger or faced enemy fire.

Today’s military is ruled by a feudal elite, chosen, not by their combat prowess, but by their willingness to submit all reason and even honor to the needs of their leadership.  That leadership is now a collection of "bean counters" and corporate types, some competent but many able to shield themselves from scrutiny for their own incompetent or corrupt acts through flag waving and bluster.

It’s one thing asking warriors, a word we have learned to abuse so much of late, to stand by their king with sword in hand.  It is quite something else when "warriors" know the orders to fight are coming from a heroic leader in plaid pants standing next to a golf cart thousands of miles away.


Are we ready to admit that our officer corps is polluted with half educated religous and political extremists who would be more at home in a dictatorship than a democracy?

Are we ready to admit that, in order to save ourselves from the reality of "universal military service"…THE DRAFT…we have accepted the idea of a professional miltiary bought with empty promises, "condo lifestyle" and fed on lies?

Are we ready to admit that we have accepted permanent war as our national duty, blending wars against injustice with wars for profit?

Are we willing to admit that we have allowed our government to be bullied into bankruptcy supporting a bloated military bureaucracy capable of making foreign policy and starting its own wars?

Are we willing to admit we have lost the ability to ask basic questions involving moral and ethical issues, issues of what is right and what is wrong, issues of what is truth and what is lies?

Are we willing to admit that we have accepted our own soldiers as something other than ourselves, our children, our family members, but rather as chattle to be spent, life and limb, on a whim?

When people begin to wake up, come alive and become aware, should we be surprised that they find no home among us, nothing to live for and no purpose?  Do we medicate "them" or begin admitting that those who choose to die are only recognizing that much of what all of us had to live for died long ago, murdered when we murdered our dreams of building a nation all of us could inhabit in worth and value?


We can call hopelessness depression.  We can call it PTSD.  Do we treat our military like children yet expect those same children to kill and die for us and think nothing of it when they break?  Are we that uncaring, that heartless?  Maybe.

For several years now, the veil of lies has slowly disappeared, revealing a rotting core at the heart of our country.  Was it caused by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashford and Gonzales or did they only reflect something lacking in our national character?

Reading the news, its clear we have gotten no better, not really. 


Can lies kill?  Our lies certainly killed hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, in Iraq and elsewhere. 

Who are the liars?  Are the politicans?  Of course, politicians lie, many, maybe most but without full complicity by a press that, not only prints the lies of politicians but serves and agenda tied more to the disease than the cure, more will die of lies.

Do lies cause suicide, can lies kill our troops?  I am saying yes, I am saying that lying, lying about war, lying about honor, lying about benefits, building a society on lies undermines sanity, undermines hope undermines belief in anything.

If everything is a lie how can anyone live on hope and belief?

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.gduff_01









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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.